The city of Auburn plans to promote its business and tourism with a kiosk in a new hotel under construction in the southeastern Chinese city of Fuding, in Fujian Province.
Ming Jing Industrial Group President Nianping Wang, who is building the hotel, bought the Prospect Hill Golf Course in Auburn in 2016 with his business partner. They’ve since explored more projects in the city, including a location for a large mushroom factory.
Wang became familiar with Auburn when his daughter attended Hebron Academy and has an affection for the area, said Auburn Economic Development Director Michael Chammings, who speaks Chinese. The company is building two houses near the golf course.
“Mr. Wang is donating space for the kiosk and tourist center on the first floor of the new hotel,” Chammings said. “We expect it to have Maine products. We’ll put in information about the golf course and skiing. Chinese businesses can look at it for importing and exporting.”
The Lost Valley ski area is in Auburn.
Details still need to be worked out, including square footage of the space.
Chammings expects to have an electronic kiosk at the location that can be controlled from Maine.
“Mr. Wang’s company would donate and maintain the space,” Chammings said. “It also would print brochures at no cost.”
Chammings said he is talking to business and tourism organizations in Maine about also using the space.
“Once I visit the space and speak with Mr. Wang, I will hold a formal meeting and invite people for input and ideas on how to best use the space,” he said.
Fuding had a population of 266,780 as of 2010. That’s more than 10 times the population of Auburn in 2017 of 23,033 and about one-fifth of Maine’s population of 1.34 million in 2018.
The 17-story hotel is due to be completed in spring 2020.